Pride Comes Before the Fall

lancearmstrong575The work that it takes to become “the best” at something is sometimes infathomable. And sometimes it’s even more difficult to get others to recognize you as “the best.” There is no doubt that over the past several years, Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Roger Clemens were all widely considered to be “the best” in their field. But another commonality between them is their personal failures and fall from their iconic pedastals.

What is it about fame, fortune, and power that leads people to think that the rules no longer apply to them? Or, is it exactly the same for those “average Joe’s” out there with no fame, no fortune, and no power – but we just don’t hear about their choices because it’s not newsworthy? Maybe they make the same decisions and are saved from the public humiliation that follows celebrities.

I admit that I have had times when I felt like I was so good, such a strong performer, that the rules would certainly be bent for me because of what I bring to an organization. And who am I? Most people have no idea who Doug Douglas is. Rarely would someone randomly just decide to Google my name. Nonetheless, I felt like I should be above the rules. So I can identify with these celebrities who are constantly adored, showered with praise, and mobbed everywhere they go and their belief that they are different than everyone else, therefore deserving unique and more relaxed rules.

When it comes down to it, I would never be considered “good” at my profession without the help, support, and wisdom of others who have invested in me and helped me along the way. I’m sure there are lots of folks out there who have a similar track record of success as me. I know others are recognized by their bosses and clients as being top performers. I don’t deserve special rules or accommodations made on my behalf.

Humans are flawed. We all mess up. We all make mistakes. Some just get called out on a world wide stage when they make theirs. I respect the accomplishments of those professionals and the hard work and dedication that they had to their “jobs.” Eventually though, pride tripped them up and they fell for a lie that said they weren’t good enough and could be better by doing something else. Whether it was drugs, affairs, cheating, etc. – they liked the feeling of being told how great they were and they wanted to continue to hear it in the future, so they caved in. Am I condoning their mistakes and excusing them for their failures – absolutely not! But who am I to cast the first stone when I have made mistakes as well? If I were a perfect human being, I could stand in judgment, but I’m far from perfect. And thankfully I’m not recognized as “the best” so I don’t have to be disgraced in front of the entire world.

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